How to Benefit From Public Transportation in Istanbul
If you want to use public transportation of any kind in Istanbul, you will need an Istanbulkart. This magnetic card will allow you to use all public transport. You could get an Istanbulkart at almost all piers, bus stations, or metro stations.
Why Use Public Transport
There are numerous ways to transport in Istanbul. You could rent a car, get a taxi, call an Uber, and so on. However, there are a lot of perks to using public transport. For instance, fares of taking public transport are much lower than taking a taxi or renting a car. Moreover, with taxis and private cars, the risk of you getting stuck in traffic is extremely high. By using public transport, you could save more time wandering around! Here are some alternatives of public transport in Istanbul.
The Modern Tramway
On the European side of Istanbul, there are two lines of tramways in service (T1 and T4). You could use the tramway between 6 am and 11 pm. If you want to see as many good places as possible in Istanbul, you might consider using the T1 tramway line as it will allow you to visit some of the major stops in Istanbul, such as Kabataş, Karaköy, Eminönü, Sultanahmet, and Sirkeci.
The Metro (Subway)
The subway is one of the fastest ways to transport in Istanbul. It opens at 6.15 am, and you could use it until midnight. The most commonly used subway line for the European side is the M2 line that transports between Yenikapı and Hacıosman. Some of the stops of the M2 metro line are Haliç, Taksim, Osmanbey, Levent, and Marmaray (Yenikapı). By getting off at the Yenikapı station and using Marmaray, you could transport to the Asian side quickly.
The Public Ferry (Vapur)
The ferries allow you to transport between the European and Asian sides of the city. It is also nice to be able to watch the sea as you are traveling in Istanbul. There is also no risk of traffic at all, just like the subway. Some of the ferries are available 24 hours a day but some of them usually stop at midnight.
Buses in Istanbul
There are around 400 bus lines in Istanbul. Buses generally work until midnight, but some work until later. Major stops of the buses are written all around the buses. There are screens and audio warnings that let you know which stop you are at, or which is the next stop.
Metrobuses are buses that move along certain reserved lanes to avoid traffic and congestion. Using metrobuses is extremely helpful, especially to avoid the traffic on the bridge. Another perk of using the metrobus is that it works 24/7, so you do not waste time finding a taxi or dealing with the stress of missing the bus.